“Life pops up in the weirdest, most unexpected places,” said author James Leo Herlihy. With that in mind, please bear with my writing in what will appear to be a disjointed ramble. There is method to my madness.
Some weeks ago, Rob Brezsny posted a cute photo of an iguana with a butterfly on its head. Butterflies have this habit of appearing quite unexpectedly, just as the Blue Morpho did when I walked with friends in a city park in Belo Horizonte, Brazil ten years ago. That butterfly! I had never seen anything so exquisite, and it was the size of my hand! If anyone had told me there were butterflies that large, I would have laughed and said they were joking. But seeing may be believing, at least when you’re seeing it with your own eyes right before you and not in a photo.
Now I honestly don’t know whether any of the following photos I’ve made into a collage are real or photoshopped, but I’m not going to laugh this time. It wouldn’t surprise me to know these were real. I did look to see the sites where I found them, and each seemed to be a source of reliable shots of nature and not photoshopped.
Expect the unexpected!
How odd that I would be talking about butterflies at the same time I’m writing about what will be the subject of the recent step up in tragedy and terror in the world. I speak about the Peeling of Life’s Onion, and many readers now know that I’m speaking of the hard aspects between Saturn and Neptune. I speak of the unexpected, and many get that it’s about Uranus–or of intensity being about Pluto. Whether or not we like it, Life is often intense.
And so I posted the collage above as a hopefully unexpected reminder that Life also brings us the unexpected with laughter or smiles or deep appreciation of sweetness in our lives.
I happen to relate to all of these factors often in very tangible ways in my life at times. When I moved into my apartment about three years ago, I really wasn’t sure I wanted to do this but I did. Yet moves require adjustments especially when you’re used to “house living” and you’ve transferred, as I did, to what’s called a “large studio.” My biggest challenge was the kitchen.
I love a huge kitchen where I can put all of my dishes, my crystal, my various appliances and have endless workspace. This apartment was made for Barbie, not for me, and that kitchen is a periodic bane of my existence. The kitchen is so small, if my cat Holly is standing in front of the sink, she pretty much has rule over the entire area!
Moving here in the midst of closing out my 5th year of non-smoking (at last!), I became conscious that my Barbie-sized kitchen was the source of trapping air from smokers who were–against state law–walking through the halls in my building with cigarettes dangling from their lips when it wasn’t my smoking downstairs neighbor whose fumes seemed to waft through one kitchen cupboard in particular. I was challenged more by the issue of breathing than I was by fleeting thoughts of returning to those costly coffin nails.
But the kitchen held another issue for me as well: Until I moved here, I never had problems with chopping onions. I didn’t tear up from them. That was a blessing for me since fresh onions usually need to be chopped finely, coarsely, sliced in rings or in strips depending on what I’m making. Here, in this place, however, I discovered what many others have apparently gone through their entire lives:
My eyes start to burn and tear up. If I’m wearing any liner or mascara at that point, I’ll soon have red and blackened swollen eyes, or black streams on my cheeks. I’ve been forced to switch to chopped, dehydrated onions in a jar. It’s truly more cost- and time-effective than the boxes of tissues and hours spent in recovery from all of that.
How does this relate to astrology?
Well, for starters, the Peeling of Life’s Onion, of course! Consider this now. We speak of Mars as aggressive, cutting, violent. We think of war and competition and selfishness and, lest we forget, sexual desire. Add Saturn to this mix, and we can have the act of performing surgery, acts of cruelty or worse–or of chopping onions.
Robert Wilkinson points to the approaching perfected Mercury-Mars transiting square as the week winds down and says in his Aquarius Papers article, “To begin with, it’s an aspect of high tension, impulsiveness, nervous agitation, jagged edges to things, and generally a degree of gear grinding. It can be used productively for many things, as long as haste or snap judgments don’t send things spinning the wrong direction. It can be good for curbing contention and aggressive actions, but only by introducing heart energy that leads to a larger view and a simpler way of doing things. The antidotes for aggression is to keep it simple, pleasant, detached, and friendly, with an eye to the greatest good for the greatest number.”
I know I’m not alone in feeling how the stresses and energies have been building over the last month. But unlike many who might look at what’s passed in the last month as only Mars or only Saturn and so on, I see these energies all working together. No one can deny the rage, the violence, the feeling of war that spanned the globe from Texas to Louisiana and Florida, to France, Germany, Turkey, through Iraq, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia…and Somalia was on the 26th of July.
I’ve been trying to keep up with all of these attacks with full articles, and I just can’t. It’s not humanly possible–unless one uses the computerized version or brief looks without full development. And that’s fine–at least this time. We’re not fully done with the month, but Wikipedia says through the 27th of July, there have been 171 terrorist incidents around the world, with many nations repeatedly hit. Those nations include France, Iraq, Bangladesh and Syria. They didn’t, however, list an incident in Jammu and Kashmir, India, on Tuesday, the 26th of July, when authorities caught several terrorists. I also didn’t mention a bomb that went off in the state of Nevada. At least with the current article, I get a break for things like sleeping so I don’t zonk out at my desk in the effort to keep up!
There’s still a point to my mentioning all of these states and nations. According to the Washington Post, “the Middle East and northern Africa account for over two-thirds of terrorism deaths since January 2015, with multiple attacks occurring daily, each claiming on average at least a dozen lives.” The article was already dated as of July 15. The subtitle to the article says, “Since the beginning of 2015, the Middle East, Africa and Asia have seen nearly 50 times more deaths from terrorism than Europe and the Americas.”
What we saw in the papers wasn’t all however. There were also attacks that may have been terrorist-linked in Bahrain, Israel, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Pakistan, Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine, Indonesia, Mozambique, Yemen, West Bank, Thailand, Nigeria, Libya, Taiwan, Egypt, Cambodia, Mali, Burundi, Philippines, India, Armenia, Malaysia, and Japan. I definitely didn’t hear of all of these, did you?
The Washington Post called their list all terrorist attacks, but some were questionable, and there didn’t appear to be any differentiation between domestic and non-domestic terrorists. That doesn’t faze me as much as the numbers themselves. These leave one who is writing on each, in short, drowning.
So what can we learn from the rise in these incidents? Not that there weren’t any in the other months of these years, mind you, but these attacks appear to wax and wane like the phases of the Moon!
Dish (piatto); The story of Hercules: the gods called upon Hercules to help them defend Olympus against the attack of the Giants, sons of Uranus and Gaea (Heaven and Earth), ca 1510
Each of the cosmic bodies move along the ecliptic plane at their own pace. The Moon will take 29.5 days to transit the entire zodiac with each sign receiving a visit over roughly 2.42 days. Mars takes 22 months, Uranus plods along for 84 years. For the beginner who doesn’t understand the importance of knowing these little bits of trivia, the chart is integrated, and one’s understanding these varying rates of speed has better hope of seeing how the aspects are always changing, and how certain periods of time can be easier, more challenging, more filled with the unexpected, or lighter.
It all works together, just as I often explain in describing the chart as a fabric with threads warping and weaving to create a tighter, firmer, stronger bond than they would if the fabric were constructed in any other way. Understanding what you’re seeing in the chart will never be about knowing one planet or luminary performing in a certain way without considering the additional factors. Those factors will be influenced by the slower moving bodies while the triggers will come from the Moon. There will always be more to the story.
Whether we choose the analogy of the symphony, as I did in “A Language of Music – A Language of Astrology,” or of the recipe–simple or gourmet– as I did in “Gourmet Cooking Doesn’t Use Cookbooks, It Creates Them,” the individual parts play roles in the whole composition (recipe or musical score) to create the perfection. In the astrological chart, those ingredients or parts of the score are developed through planets in whatever signs in whatever houses in whatever house system you see before you. Every piece needs to be understood for its pace, its placement, its individual energy and its capabilities based on the aspects it makes–or doesn’t–to any other part of the chart.
Now I realize this may seem terribly inconsequential to most astrologers. But to the student or the person who really doesn’t understand the fine tuning behind astrological analysis and interpretation, this explanation may enable the reader to get it just a bit more clearly–the what we do, the how we do it, and the why we do it. But unlike the two earlier articles and links I posted, this article will have charts. Several of them, in fact. So let’s move on…
In my last article, I mentioned the approach of the Uranus station to apparent retrograde motion. I did that for a very specific reason: Any time one of the outer planets (extraterrestrials, or as I call them, ETs) change apparent direction, the energies of that planet take on new, stronger energies regardless of which way. From what I’ve seen of these ETs in making these apparent directional changes, we can often see them as long as a month before the actual date of the station. I suspect the variations in how we see or respond to these energies depend on our own sensitivities.
On to part 2, where the charts will begin and, believe me, I have a slew of them so please hang in there with me and read on! Part 3